Skip to main content

Tribune-American Dream Picture

Movies Preview

Tribune-American Dream Picture

Published 1924

Astonishing film sponsored by a newspaper which held a contest for the most unusual dream and then made it into a short film. A woman dreams of losing her baby, rowing across San Francisco Bay and finding her child in an unusual place.

Run time 7:23
Producer Oakland Tribune-American
Sponsor Oakland Tribune-American
Audio/Visual Si, B&W


OAKLAND TRIBUNE DREAM FILM. Tribune-American Dream Picture sponsored by American Theatre and Oakland Tribune which gave a prize for the most unusual dream made into a photoplay. Mrs. L.L. Nicholson of Oakland submitted the winning scenario, about losing her baby and then finding the child after a frantic trip to the Ferry Building in a rowboat.

Dreams Surrealism Oakland, California


Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 18, 2016
Subject: Sounds fishy to me
Can't believe I havent reviewed this. Anyways, the Tribune-American had a weekly contest for people to submit their dreams and have a chance to get it dramatized on film! How cool is that? Anyways, a woman has a dream that the car she was travelling in from Oakland to SF breaks down, so they have to take a ferry. When they get to SF, they realize their baby is missing! Where is he? Pretty fun and bizarre. Reccomended!
Reviewer: Rick Prelinger - - June 14, 2015
Subject: Here's the house today,+Oakland,+CA+94601/@37.779312,-122.215536,3a,75y,43h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sRzzOydzlVV5Nr70SWFF1Qw!2e0!,-122.215536!7i13312!8i6656!4m19!1m16!4m15!1m6!1m2!1s0x808f865e6402a6a3:0xf17583fde63e3e88!2s3812+San+Juan+St,+Oakland,+CA+94601!2m2!1d-122.215395!2d37.779428!1m6!1m2!1s0x808f8718cda00a67:0x34600f5dcfb4bce5!2s2023+14th+Ave,+Oakland,+CA+94606!2m2!1d-122.2406661!2d37.7936615!3e2!3m1!1s0x808f865e6402a6a3:0xf17583fde63e3e88!6m1!1e1
Reviewer: MFD32 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2009
Subject: Not much has changed
If you Google the address that's shown at 00:24, you'll get a street view of that house. It's the same house you see in the scene that starts at 00:54. Looks exactly the same to this day.
Reviewer: Robin_1990 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2008
Subject: Excellent!
One of the hightlights of the Prelinger archive. Being a fan of Surreal/Unusual films, I really enjoyed this. Do any other films from this series still exist? I loved seeing a snap-shot of the 1920's, That alone makes the film worth watching.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2006
Subject: Excellent idea, film well done
This 1924 film was very original. I enjoyed it despite there was no sound or color. The vintage scenes just added to the production. The concept of filming the best dream sent in would probably go over on TV now.
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2006
Subject: An excursion that won't soon be forgotten
This very early dramatization of a dream involving a woman who has lost sight of her quiet baby is notable for several reasons. Like most dreams, it is grounded in the mundane, but contains plenty of surreal elements; geographical barriers are easily transcended, serious occurrences such as the baby's operation of the auto are regarded rather flippantly by the other individuals, and curious circumstances serve to hinder the dreamer's ability to assert control over the world that she has conceived. Video manipulation techniques are used to enhance the experience. The film is reminiscent of a Kafka story, and is a fascinating artifact of silent cinema.
Reviewer: Avid_Fan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 31, 2004
Subject: Attention: Mendax
If it is not difficult or dangerous, would you take a picture of that house and post it here?

It would be fascinating to see a "then and now" snapshot.

Avid Fan
Reviewer: ilalounge - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 3, 2004
Subject: a gem
incredibly charming!
Reviewer: Mendax - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 15, 2004
Subject: Time capsule on film
The automobiles, street cars, the clothes, the buildings, all reminders of an allegedly simpler time in Oakland and San Francisco, much of which is now gone. I haven't yet figured out where they shot all the Oakland scenes. The couple's house is still there and appears to be still in good shape although the neighborhood has gone downhill.

When the baby is discovered to have disappeared it's interesting to see that the father panics and the mother remains calm and collected. The baby is very cute. He'd be about 81 or 82 now. I wonder if he's still among us.
Reviewer: trafalgar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2004
Subject: Excellent
A fascinating little piece that plays like Mack Sennett working from a script by Luis Bunuel. Very warm, likeable and for lack of a better word, dream-like. Any psych professionals want to take a crack at this? I'm particularly curious about the significance of the fish....Highly recommended!
Reviewer: Marysz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 28, 2004
Subject: Baby in a Basket
A fascinating variation of the classic maternal anxiety dream. A couple pack their baby in a laundry basket in the back of what looks like a Model T for a trip from Oakland to a picnic in Marin. The car starts to ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂact queerlyÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ on its way to San Francisco, and when they get there they discover the basket is empty. The young mother, who has a somewhat bohemian quality, is dressed like a flapper. When the she goes to feed the baby (and discovers heÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs gone), she pulls out a baby bottleÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂthe ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂNew WomenÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ of this generation werenÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt interested in breast feeding, even in their dreams. Her husband is in a suit and tieÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂtheyÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂre both awfully dressed up for a picnicÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂbut I think that kind of formality was actually customary for the time. The street scenes we see in San Francisco and Oakland have a more dreamlike quality than the facts of the motherÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs dream itself. Illogical as the dream is, its novelty is surpassed by the inexplicable sense of time passing that the cityscapes in this silent film convey. The facts behind the filmÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂan offer of from a newspaper to send in a dream and see it filmed for $25.00ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂmake it all the more surreal.
Reviewer: Mr. Dan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 24, 2003
Subject: Tribune
An interesting porthole into the ideas media had in the early 20th century. I wonder about how many of these films were made and if the same locations was used in each movie.
Amusing action in the background with the "gawkers" looking on and in one scene, it appears that a "Crowd Control" officer is trying to get in on the act.
Reviewer: liichief - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 7, 2003
Subject: Remarkable and amusing
Dream archetypes snap past in rapid succession in this smart little movie. Vehicles stall and behave strangely, a baby is left in a car, odd objects are gathered and left behind. We have all had these dreams, and they are portrayed here with humor and insight. The classic images of old San Francisco and Oakland enhance the experience.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Prelinger Archives
by Universal-International Newsreel
eye 54,605
favorite 53
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Coronet Instructional Films
eye 19,382
favorite 26
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
eye 429
favorite 0
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films
eye 5.9M
favorite 59
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films
eye 24,809
favorite 35
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Aetna Casualty & Surety Company
eye 21,496
favorite 40
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
The Library of Congress
by Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939
eye 759
favorite 2
comment 0
Cornell University Library
by Nicoll, Maurice, 1884-1953
eye 539
favorite 1
comment 0
Wellesley College Library
by Nicoll, Maurice, 1884-1953
eye 1,313
favorite 1
comment 0
Prelinger Archives
by Knickerbocker Productions
eye 14,263
favorite 25
comment 8
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )